December 12, 2009
Bolivian President Evo Morales rejected Saturday the declarations of U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who said that relations between Bolivia and Iran "weren't a good idea" and could have consequences.
In a press conference in the central region of Cochabamba Morales referred to Clinton's declarations on Friday about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's November visit to Bolivia and Venezuela. "If people want to flirt with Iran, they should look at what consequences there could be for them. And we hope that they will think twice about it," warned the Secretary of State.
"They say that Iran exports terrorism. Do you know who really exports terrorism? It's those people who send troops from their countries to other countries, those who install military bases in other countries. They are the ones who plan and carry out terrorism. It's the government of the United States that plans and carries out terrorism," declared Morales.
"In solidarity Cuba sends 'troops' abroad, they're doctors who save lives. Do you suppose the (U.S.) soldiers are going to save lives? The armed soldiers are going to take lives, like in Afghanistan, like in Iraq, like with the U.S. military bases in South America," explained Morales upon rejecting "emphatically those words coming from the United States."
Bolivia is better off
He added that Bolivia is a "proud and sovereign" country that "doesn't accept warnings or threats, they are pointless and we categorically reject them because the United States has no moral standing, since they are the ones who export terrorism."
The indigenous leader likewise maintained that "without imperialism and without capitalism Bolivia is better off," and that since in his country economic sovereignty is respected, things have improved.
Vice-Chancellor Hugo Fernandez rejected Friday what he characterized as interference on the part of the United States, and said that in the negotiations to improve relations between Bolivia and that country they are working "precisely on the point of non-interference in internal matters, that has to remain very clear."
In 2008, Morales expelled the U.S. Ambassador Phillip Goldberg for suspicion of conspiring with the opposition, and later suspended operations of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which he accused of espionage, and at the beginning of 2009 he ordered the expulsion of another diplomat.
In response, Washington also ordered the expulsion of the Bolivian ambassador.
However, both countries are seeking to normalize their relations and the Bolivian Chancellor David Choquehuanca announced the arrival of a Mission from Washington for a third round of negotiations, without specifying the date of the meeting.
Bolivia and Iran established diplomatic relations at the end of 2007, but they still haven't exchanged ambassadors, among other reasons because the Senate, dominated by the opposition, didn't ratify the agreements between the two countries.
Source: "Evo acusó a EU de terrorismo," Univision en línea, 12 de diciembre de 2009